11" x 17" Color Printer Recommendations
July 21, 2008 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for printing color onto 11" x 17" paper.

About once a month, a colleague of mine has to print about 90 8-page newsletters. They're in color, and printed to 11" x 17" paper. We currently use an HP K8600, which works fine except that the ink doesn't dry quickly enough, resulting in some ugly smears unless the newsletters are printed one at a time, which is clearly sub-optimal.

I'm looking for some recommendations for either a) recommendations on a different printer (something less than $500 would be ideal) that would do the printing in one fell-swoop or b) ideas for dealing with this smearing problem. I searched around but didn't really find anything that looked on-point with respect to the smearing problem.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
posted by toomuchpete to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
 
If you really only need this once a month for 360 copies, you might want to just farm this out to a print shop with a good digital 11x17 copier. It shouldn't run you more than $100 a month (here, for example), which is probably not much more than what you're spending on paper, toner, time and wear and tear.
posted by beagle at 10:25 AM on July 21, 2008


I definitely think it would be cheaper to outsource it, but let's pretend, for the sake of argument, that the boss really wanted it done in-house.

Also, I meant to add: we're printing on glossy paper, which may well be the root cause of the smearing, so if there are printers out there that will handle glossy paper without smearing, those would be ideal.
posted by toomuchpete at 10:38 AM on July 21, 2008


I think the smearing will be a problem with any inkjet printer. You could spring for a color laser printer that takes 11"x17", but they cost at least a couple thousand dollars.
posted by zsazsa at 11:13 AM on July 21, 2008


Smearing is only a problem with lower-end inkjet printers that are using cheap inks. I have an Epson R1800 (probably overkill for what you need, although I do recommend it) and the prints are dry to the touch as soon as they come out of the printer. I believe most of the Epson's that use pigment based inks are like this, you may want to look into that.
posted by bradbane at 12:09 PM on July 21, 2008


This worked for me: I rigged one of those small, clip-type fans to gently blow across the pages as the came out, drying them in time before the next page advanced. Wind strength needed to be strong enough to dry, but not to strong as to move the pages around.
posted by spoons at 12:18 PM on July 21, 2008


Yes, definitely find a place with an iGen or a DC5000 (both commercial color laser printers) and contract the job. The quality of output you'll get from those machines (particularly the iGen) is well worth the cost.

Disclosure> I work in the variable print industry.
posted by Crosius at 2:40 PM on July 22, 2008


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